Preventative pet care isn’t just for cats and dogs. All animals need the appropriate elements of care to keep them safe from disease, ensure that they grow and develop as they should and enjoy a long, fulfilling life.
Here are our top tips for preventative care for your horse.
If you don’t do it already, annual wellness exams are one of the most important things that you can do for your horse’s preventative health care. These appointments give your equine vet an opportunity to monitor the condition of your horse and give her a thorough evaluation. In many instances, health issues can show up in an annual wellness exam that otherwise might not become apparent until they are causing unpleasant and debilitating symptoms – by which point, considerable veterinary care could be needed, and significant costs could be incurred.
Annual equine wellness exams typically include many of the same things carried out in the same appointment for a cat or dog, such as checking temperature, heart rate, breathing, and a physical examination. In horses specifically, you can expect body condition scoring, sheath cleaning and hoof evaluations too.
Just like cats and dogs, horses too need vaccination to keep them safe from the myriad of difference infectious diseases that could put their health and potentially even their life at risk. The American Association of Equine Practitioners states that the following vaccinations are considered ‘core’ and should be given to all horses irrespective of their personal circumstances:
Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
West Nile Virus
Your equine veterinarian will be able to advise you when these vaccinations should be administered and will help you to arrange the necessary appointments.
Teeth are an essential part of any preventative health care plan for horses. This is because their teeth continue to grow until they reach around 25 years of age and as such, you will need to ensure that they don’t grow too long. Horses are herbivores and their teeth have evolved for chewing grass and this action helps to wear their teeth down. However, if they aren’t properly and evenly eroded, it can cause a range of different issues. Proper dental care, such as having your horses’ teeth floated, helps equines to remain comfortable and avoid difficult dental problems. They could even live longer if they have teeth that are properly looked after.
What your horse eats is vitally important to his health and wellbeing. So too is the amount of food that he eats. Overfeeding an equine will lead to weight gain and a whole range of avoidable health problems – something that any owner wants to avoid, but particularly those that enjoy riding their pet whether casually or competitively. It is also important to understand that an animal’s nutritional requirements vary with age, and your horse is no different. By enlisting the help of a nutritional counselor, you can ensure that your horse is getting the right nutrition for his life stage, and you could potentially prevent a range of health issues from developing.
If you would like more advice on preventative care for your equine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team.